What the Dalai Lama has to say


I have a great respect for the Dalai Lama. At fifteen he was secreted in the night by monks. The Chinese were invading and they were saving his life. They fled to India through the mountains and he has not been to Tibet since. The world watched as Buddhist nuns and monks were murdered and raped. But the Dalai Lama has kept his positive attitude and his belief in the positive aspects of peace and compassion. He has spent his life traveling the world talking about Tibet and sharing his wisdom on peace, kindness, and compassion. I am going to quote some of his best quotes. We need all of the positive energy we can muster.

 

“Usually, when I describe the essence of Buddhism, I say that at best we should try to help others, and if we cannot help them at least we should do them no harm. This teaching grows from the soil of love and compassion.”

 

“For us, the focus is not on God but on enlightenment.  Human beings are responsible for their own lives. We alone are the creators of our fate. The Buddha did not create the world, nor is he responsible for its deficiencies. But he shows us ways in which we can move from the present state of suffering to perfection. Because of this and other reasons, the Buddha did not address teachings about the existence of God.”

 

“Buddhism is one of the many religions which teaches us to be less selfish and more compassionate. It teaches us to be humane, altruistic, and to think of others in the way we think of ourselves. Our daily thoughts and actions should be directed toward the benefit of others.”

 

“For certain people, Buddhism may simply not be an answer. Different religious meet different people’s needs. I do not try to convert people to Buddhism. What I try to explore is how we Buddhists can make a contributions to human society in accordance with our ideas and values.”

 

” Compassion can be roughly defined in terms of a state of mind that is nonviolent and nonharming, or nonaggressive. Because of this there is a danger of confusing compassion with attachment and intimacy.”

 

“Genuine compassion should be unbiased. If we only feel close to our friends, and not to our enemies, or to the countless people who are unknown to us personally and toward whom we are indifferent, then our compassion is only partial or biased.”

 

“Generating concern for others has vast power to transform your mind. If you practice compassion for the sake of all living beings===including animals—then that same limitless merit will accrue to you.”

 

“Without love we could not survive. Human beings are social creatures, and a concern for each other is the very basis of our life together.”

 

“Love is a simple practice yet it is very beneficial for the individual who practices it as well as for the community in which they live, for the nation, and for the whole world.”

 

“Loving oneself is crucial. If we do not love ourselves, how can we love others? It seems that when some people talk of compassion, they have the notion that it  entails a total disregard for one’s own interests—a sacrificing of one’s interests. This is not the case. In fact genuine love should first be directed at oneself.”

 

“If someone greets me with a nice smile, and expresses a genuinely friendly attitude. I appreciate it very much. Though I might not know that person or understand their language, they instantly gladden my heart…Kindness and love, a real sense of brotherhood and sisterhood, these are very precious. They make community possible and this are crucial in society.”

 

 

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Friends

 

 

#This is Life

 

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The Importance of Hope in Today’s World


 

In Wales, Nato is meeting to address the dual problems of ISIL and Russia. It is also a time of increased racism here in the United States. The world is tense, you can feel it as you go about your regular life. I want to encourage you to remember that peace starts within us. Hope and peace live within and is touched by the Divinity within. Our hearts and souls are very important in our lives. We just are not really aware of them.

 

Our hearts have been attacked more than once in the last few months. Mother Earth is screaming in pain. 16 million children live in poverty in America, we really have no idea of how many people in Iraq and Syria have been killed and or displaced. Now ISIL members are discussing moving into India. That country is filled with a billion people. They have just been served notice that the darkness is now planning moves to disrupt their country and families.

 

What can one person do? One person in France, Belgium, India or America can do a lot. We can keep giving love, peace, hope, compassion and empathy flowing out from our hearts and souls into this world. We must believe that, in the big picture, that good will conquer the hatred and bigotry that we are up against. Our spirituality can be the engine that pulls us ahead and keeps us focused on what can be done rather than what can not be done. We may suffer, I may suffer but if we lose our lives, we will return home to the Divine presence of God.

 

“At night make me one with the darkness, in the morning make me one with the light. ”   —Wendell Berry

 

“Just to be is a blessing, Just to live is holy.”   —Rabbi Abraham Heschel

 

” As we are together, praying for peace, let us be truly with each other.

Let us pay attention to our breathing.

Let us be relaxed in our bodies and our minds.

Let us be at peace with  our bodies and our minds.

Let us return to ourselves and become wholly ourselves. Let us maintain a half-smile on our faces.

Let us be aware of the source of being common to us all and to all living things.

Evoking the presence of the Great Compassion, let us fill our hearts with our own compassion, towards ourselves and towards all living beings.

Let us pray that all living beings realize that they are all brothers and sisters. all nourished from the same source of life.

Let us pray with ourselves to live in a way which will not deprive other beings of air, water, food, shelter, or the chance to live.

With humility, and with awareness of the existence of life, and of the sufferings that are going on around us, let us pray for the establishment of peace in our hearts and on earth. Amen.   —Thich Nhat Hanh

 

 

 

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Truth

 

The face of truth is open,

The eyes of truth are bright,

The lips of truth are ever closed,

The head of truth is upright.

The breast of truth stands forward,

The gaze of truth is straight,

Truth has neither fear nor doubt,

Truth has patience to wait.

The words of truth are touching,

The voice of truth is deep,

The law of truth is simple:

All that you sow you reap.

The soul of truth is flaming,

The heart of truth is warm,

The mind of truth is clear,

And firm through rain or storm.

Facts are but its shadows,

Truth stands above all sin;

Great be the battle in life,

Truth in the end shall win.

Wisdom”s message its rod;

Sign of truth is the cross,

Soul of truth is God.

Life of truth is eternal,

Immortal is its past,

Power of truth will endure,

Truth shall hold to the last.   —Hazrat Inayat Khan

 

 

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Cup and Ocean

 

“These forms we seem to be are cups floating in an ocean of living consciousness.

They fill and sink without leaving an arc of bubbles or any good bye spray.

What we are is that ocean, too near to see, though we swim in it and drink it in.

Don’t be a cup with a dry rim, or someone who rides all night and never knows the horse

beneath this thighs, the surging that carries him along.”   —Rumi

 

 

 

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Who Wants War?


Many People have wanted peace for millenniums. Artists of every different types of media have to ability to see and feel the importance of peace. Many have written affirmations. Composed song lyrics, written poems.  Artists paint for peace and sketch for peace. Artists need to rise up and make your voices heard. Not in a violent way, but loud enough to shake the rafters.

 

 

 

 

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                                 Vincent Van Gogh

 

 

 This quote is from Vincent Van Gogh

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Peace


 

 

joyful song

joyful song

Peace

Quiet yourself.

Reach out with your

mind’s skillful hand

Let it go inside of me

and touch

God.

Don’t be shy, dear.

Every aspect of Light

we are meant to know.

The calm hand holds

more

than baskets of goods

from the market.

The calm soul knows

more

than anything this

world

can offer from here

beautiful

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–By St. John of the Cross, taken from Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West, translated by Daniel Ladinsky

St. John of the Cross has been long recognized as one of the world’s great mystical poets. His verse reveals a profound, tender experience of divine communion.

 

A heart of love

A heart of love

 

 

Sunflowers

Sunflowers

The Most Beautiful Thing


This video was the winner of the LACHSA 2012 Moon Dance Best Film Award, and Best Actor Award.

Written, directed and edited by Cameron Covell, this short film, starring Nick Lopez and Analisa Gutierrez, is a love story between two unlikely people. Also with Cameron Herbst, Madison Kirkpatrick, and Tim Wagner.

It reminds us that it only takes communication for connection, and that even the most isolated of us just needs someone to reach out, and if you open your eyes and slowly look around you, you will find love.  It doesn’t have to be romantic love, necessarily, but it is important to realize that love and kindness, goodness and hope surround us all.

 

 

How We Learn From Each Other


 

Yesterday, I  told you all the story of Ms. G. a teacher in the Freshman and Sophomore classes at Long Beach California. She was one of those people who came along and wanted to make a difference. She was officially an English teacher. She worried if they would like her or if she would seem too preppy to the kids. Last night I began wondering if there was a book the movie was based upon. Well, there is. Please be patient as there is a point to all of this.

 

She decided they were going to read the Diary of Anne Frank. After an incident in class, she asked who knew what the Holocaust was. Not one hand raised, not one child knew. That was when she made her decision that they would read Anne Frank. As she began to read to them, they heard familiar words, war, shooting, dying. This is when she made the suggestion that they keep a journal. She bought, out of her own money, one for each student. They could share what they wrote with her, or not. No one else would see or read them. At the end of every day she locked the cupboard that they kept the journals in. They decided, after finishing reading Anne Frank that they wanted to meet the woman, Miep Gies, who hid Anne Frank and her family during the Holocaust.

 

So their teacher Ms. G helped them do fund raisers until they had earned enough money to bring Miep Gies to California. She was a very old lady. She told them all about the Nazi’s and the horrors she had seen. She told them of the night the Gestapo came and took the hidden Jews away. How a gun was held to her head. Hiding Jews meant you were to be shot. A high price for being a compassionate, caring human being. For this reason, she was very surprised when the Gestapo left and she was still alive.

 

The kids told Miep Gies she was their hero but this gentle, kind woman looked at this classroom of Asian, African-American and Latino kids and told them they were the heroes. Thier teacher Ms. G. had told her about their journals and some of their stories. Miep Gies didn’t see a class of mixed colored kids, she saw them as brave because they knew so much of what Anne Frank had suffered and yet they went to school everyday, they learned to open their hearts to Ms. G. and the other kids. They even were beginning to trust each other. So damaged kids from every race, color and creed were beginning to understand each other and accept each other. They chose to break the cycle and make their positive experiences  a lesson for generations to come.

 

Now, the story becomes amazing. In the 1990’s, there was another little girl, named Zlata and she wrote a story. Now I own the diary and have read it. Zlata was in Kosovo and there was a war going on. Our students in Long Beach California read about a girl who wrote out her heart to survive the two years she was in the war. Her diary, quite like Anne Frank’s diary was full of the horrors of war. What human beings are capable to doing to each other. Zlata wrote to save her sanity and cope with the terrible war conditions. She feels there is a parallel between herself and the Freedom Writers because they had all been subjected to being felt that they were victims. They all understood that life brings good things and bad things. Zlata feels that it is easy to  become a victim of your circumstances and to continue to feel sad or angry. She continued to say that someone could continue  to stay angry and scared or that people could  choose to deal with injustice humanely and break the chains of negative thoughts and energies. She told the Freedom Writers that writing helps you look objectively at what is happening around us.

 

Zlata left the former Yugoslavia knowing what a bomb sounds like,what it’s like to hide from bombs in a cellar and what the absence of water feels like. She wants American kids to rise above what they have had to live through and not let the hate, violence and sadness become the focus of their lives, so they can make rich lives for themselves.

 

The Freedom Writers kept Ms. G. for their Junior and Senior years. Then they all went on to college. What they overcame and accomplished is very important and must be respected. They escaped the damage of the anger and hate that surrounded them in their neighborhoods. The seeds of hatred and fear that was beginning to grow. They stopped history from repeating itself.  Ms. G. is still teaching on the college level toda;, though divorced she has had many children and these children will never forget her. They would have remained “underachievers” if she hadn’t walked into their classroom on her first day of teaching. I encourage you all to remember this true story and the two girls who inspired a classroom of American kids to save their lives and make the world a better place for everyone to live.

 

 

A book tree, wouldn't it be wonderful!

A book tree, Wouldn’t it be wonderful!

 

The Essential Wisdom of the Dalai Lama


The Dalai Lama is a very special person. He is the political and spiritual leader of Tibet which was taken from the Tibetan people by the Chinese. They say that having at one time owned Tibet, they do now also. I think it is kind of like Russia saying they own the Ukraine. Greed for land and minerals and egos are behind these actions. Tibet was invaded by the Chinese back in the fifties and a teenaged Dalai Lama was secreted out of the country and took refuge in India. Many Tibetan people left with the Dalai Lama and in the weeks and months thereafter. The Dalai Lama was the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhist religion. The temples were invaded and monks and nuns were tortured, raped and murdered. The world stood by and watched it happen. They really had nothing to make them valuable to the rest of the world, so the country was devastated.

 

 

I have met him back in the eighties and I found him to be a wonderful spirit with a good sense of humor, and a sincere and peaceful energy. It would be so easy for him to be angry, resentful or to have turned away from his faith. Instead, I found a man of peace, a man who worries about his people, and a man who has never held any grudges against the countries who didn’t come to the aid of his people. His teachings are wise, peaceful and full of compassion. We are so lucky to have him and his wonderful spirit here in the world. I believe he is the source of much positive energy that fights the darkness that is also here.

 

It amazes me that a country at the top of the world would have been worth stealing from its people. To seal the immoral bargain, the Chinese people were moved into Tihet and encouraged to marry Tibetans. People who didn’t always have a choice. It is a form of genocide because  there will be fewer and fewer people who can claim they are of Tibetan ancestry.

 

The Dalai Lama has taught and spread his message all over the world and he is seldom still, except in meditation. I thought I would share some of his teachings with all of you. No matter what path you follow, you can add these teachings. They do not contradict any other teachings.

 

 

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“Love, compassion, and concern for others are real sources of happiness. With these in abundance, you will not be disturbed by even the most uncomfortable circumstances. If you nurse hatred, however, you will not be happy even in the lap of luxury. Thus, if we really want happiness. we must widen the sphere of love. This is both religious thinking and basic common sense.”

 

” Unless our minds are stable and calm, no matter how comfortable our physical condition may be, they will give is no pleasure. Therefore, the key to a happy life, now and in the future, is to develop a happy mind.”

 

“If the basic human nature was aggressive, we would have been born with animal claws and huge teeth—but our are very short, very pretty, very weak! That means we are not well equipped to be aggressive beings. Even the size  of our mouth is very small. So I think the basic nature of human beings should be gentle.”

 

“Anger cannot be overcome by anger. If a person shows anger to you, and you show anger in return, the result is a disaster. In contrast, if you control your anger and show its opposite—love, compassion, tolerance, and patience—then not only will you remain in peace, but the anger of others also will gradually diminish.”

 

“As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than we found it. “

 

 

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“Tibet is distinguished by its extraordinary geography, the unique race and language of its people, and the rich culture they have developed over 2,100 years of recorded history. approximately six million Tibetans populate our country, which covers around 2.5 million square Kilometers, an area the size of Western Europe. In the Tibetan culture, our relations with nature, including animals, were very peaceful. We lived in great harmony with nature. At its foundation and thereafter, after the arrival of Buddhism in Tibet, Tibetan society in general was characterized by compassion and openness. It was a society where people felt at ease. For those reasons I believe it might serve as an example.”

 

“Fundamentally, the issue of Tibet is political. It is an issue of colonial rule: the oppression of Tibet by the  People’s Republic of China and resistance to that rule by the people of Tibet. This issue can be resolved only through negotiations and not, as China would have it, through force, intimidation and population transfer.”

 

” Violations of human rights in Tibet have a distinct character. Such abuses are aimed at Tibetian as a people from asserting their own identity and their wish to preserve it. Thus, human rights violations in Tibet are often the result of institutionalized racial and cultural discrimination.”

 

 

             This is a short prayer written by the Dalai Lama

 

For as long as space endures,

And for as long as living beings remain.

Until then may I, too, abide

To dispel the misery of the world.

 

 

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 The Buddha

 

 

The Dalhai Lama and his wise and love filled words.

The Dalai Lama and his wise and love filled words.

 

 

What is dying inside of you?

What is dying inside of you?